Wild Fall Color, Sussed Out by House Cat

From 2016, that is. A few leaves began to flare this August but somewhere along the way, our present fall stalled out, y’all. That’s not unusual, peak autumn here just might wait for November.

October 6, 2016   Autumn Beginning, Up Close in the Trees

October 6, 2016  So much to do

November 4, 2016, Yellows are entering!

There’s this one spot high in the trees, a juncture, a jam, of leaves and pine needles. It’s threaded through by a gnarly old longleaf pine tree that lost all its branches in a storm long ago; only one side grew any branches back. Looking from the landing, there’s an elm tree and a sweetgum in front the pine, slightly to its side. At least two elm trees stand behind it, and twining everywhere, living vines sport fresh foliage alongside old dead vines. All this throws the light around and makes messy, complex tangles of effects in the canopy, most notably in the fall. This calls to me. It’s a part of the forest that grew untended, no thinning, no perfect shapes.

Ultraviolet, Beautiful Always

Ultraviolet took to editing right away. She came out of invisibility to tell me just what I can do with my light. Here’s she shines via photo editing, to fit in with the colorful season. Like the previous editor Bud, she wants to know why, if these trees are right outside the door, she can’t go out and climb them.

“Um … getting back down is not so easy for a kitty.”

What’s out there? October 10, 2016

There it is! October 12, 2016

And there! October 17, 2016

Red leaf arrival October 17, 2016

Mysterious berries, identity unknown  October 8, 2016

The large leaves go with the berries, that’s all I know. It isn’t pokeweed, although it has a similar appearance. October 28, 2016

“And I’ve heard water running in a creek out there, so why can I not go drink from it?” she meows. “A cat likes to take a stroll and drink far away from where she eats.”

Feast of reflected color October 30, 2016

Sunshine at play, October 30, 2016

“I know, it’s a behavior from cats’ wild days when they left prey on the ground that might spoil,” I say. “Well sweetheart, coyotes also drink from that creek. We’ve found their tracks there.”

Floating in green waters November 10, 2016

“What are coyotes?”

“A sort of big wild dog, running loose. You may or may not have seen them in the city. Keep listening and you’ll hear them at night.”


Leaves make a splash

Trees have their ways, November 10, 2016


Getting away with a dazzle

“I hid from dogs in the city. So I get that part of it, sort of, but I still want to explore what’s on the other side of that door you know, my ownself. I know light, and I don’t mind telling you how to post your light graphs, but images just don’t do it for me. I’ll need some direct observation if I’m to keep sorting pictures. I’ll need to eyeball the trees and creek, climb to the canopy, and drink the water.”

Orange treat, November 17, 2016

“What if I open a tin and you can chow down now?” (I figure I’ll get her mind off the great outdoors.)

Meanwhile, the forest floor is busy, November 29, 2016

“I’ll wolf it down! Then I’ll go out and drink from that stream!”

“Um ….” I look at her and blink slowly. I learned that from our cats years ago.

December 14, 2016, fall color was still going strong

(She won’t get to go outside, it’s too dangerous. I expect she’ll want to edit again regardless. Wishing for a catio one day!)



About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
This entry was posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Wild Fall Color, Sussed Out by House Cat

  1. Love the whole post, but the magnificent portrait of you-know-who is particularly exquisite!!! 😀

  2. ginnietom says:

    thx double voting holi cactuses…! have a good week…

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Love the water reflections!

  4. Your photography of the fall colours is amazing! So well done….I felt I was there. We have very few leaves left on the trees. Ultraviolet is a gorgeous kitty.

    Thanks for the wonderful walk through your area.


    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Canadian Cats! Ultraviolet is very pleased! While our fall progressed this year since I posted this, it seems most leaves dropped quickly and we only have a few areas of color now, too.
      All best wishes,

  5. RMW says:

    Note to Ultraviolet: be happy that you have a safe, warm home with plenty to eat. We always want what we can’t have. My pal Frankie and I are very grateful we don’t have to catch mice and birds for dinner. All we have to do is meow and our meals magically appear. You don’t want to be out on those mean streets. Best wishes from your friend, Freddie.

    • Catwoods says:

      (LOL RMW) Frankie and Freddie, Ultraviolet says your lives sound dreamy and she is very impressed! However she wants to keep on asking the humans about the outside just to see what they will say, lol.

  6. Chandra Lynn says:

    Lovely presentation! Very beautiful photos–even if they’re last year’s! 🙂 I have been capturing the gorgeousness of the season for the last couple of weeks. Looking forward to going through them and sharing a few on the blog. Love Ultraviolet photos too! Have a happy weekend!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Chandra Lynn! Ultraviolet and I are pleased that you enjoyed the post and she’s happy you liked her pictures! We’ll look forward to seeing your fall pictures whenever you post them! Best wishes for a great weekend!

  7. Love that ultraviolet picture, Leah. It gives more colour to the outside world we live in right now 😀 Pawkisses for a Happy Weekend 🙂 ❤

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you angelswhispers2011, I’m glad you like the picture! I’m really a novice at photo editing and it’s always an experiment for me, if I find a point where I like the way an image looks, I choose that one. Happy Weekend purrs and head bonks to you also!

  8. felineopines says:

    Hi There,
    Oliver here. My brother Alberto and I love to sit in the window and chase the fall leaves as they fly by. Only problem this year is that the SNOW is already here. Geez, how’s a cat supposed to keep himself entertained??
    Purrs & Head Bonks,

    • Catwoods says:

      Oliver, on my, winter came fast! Maybe some snowflakes will swirl around and you and Alberto can chase those!? We had rain and now more leaves are down than before, but there is more color coming, so we’ll see.
      Many purrs and head bonks in return from Ultraviolet!

  9. Deziz World says:

    Ultraviolet, luv da foto. Our fall/autumn left and ain’t comin’ back. We don’t think she even unpacked her bags fur an overnight stay. Big hugs

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Dezi and Raena, I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures. Haha the way you described that made me laugh, but I’m sorry autumn was a no show in your area! I think ours may be coming back now. Hugs.

  10. cat9984 says:

    Beautiful pictures. Fall here (lower Michigan) was a huge disappointment. It was too hot, then it got cold and windy. We only got dull yellows and a few reds.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you cat9984, i’m happy you enjoyed the pictures! Sorry to hear fall went so quickly where you are. The weather does make a difference in the colors, I think. Ours seems to be slowly developing now, if it comes back strong I’ll try to post more pictures later.

  11. Lavinia Ross says:

    Those are beautiful fall photos, Catwoods!

  12. chattykerry says:

    I love the mysterious berries – did you ever find out what they are?

  13. Cute stunning pictures🍃

  14. Mollie Hunt says:

    Such beautiful pictures.

  15. Candace says:

    My indoor kitties would also love a catio!

    • Catwoods says:

      I think it would delight all kitties! I really aspire to have one eventually; a sturdy, varmint proof structure. For now it will have to remain a dream!

  16. What stunning pictures!! Just lovely.

  17. Cate says:

    Some of these photos have the quality of stained glass. Lovely!

  18. Ghosts of leaves long past. I hate coyotes!

    • Catwoods says:

      Great description, Greg! While I wish coyotes didn’t hang out so close to us, I can appreciate them as wild animals. Forest fragmentation and lack of cougars (although some might disagree and say they are around) have helped coyotes extend their range into the eastern part of the country. You do have to be so careful with cats and small dogs if coyotes are around, they are fast and scary smart.

  19. Aaawww a catio would be wonderful.

    • Catwoods says:

      I’d love one, or a screened in porch, at least! Things are so hectic, we’re a long way from being able to construct one, but I can wish and dream!

      • I can’t imagine having coyotes and cougars around. It’s like a Wild West film

        • Catwoods says:

          For sure! I’ve only ever seen a coyote once myself, but we hear them a lot. And, it’s when you don’t see them that you need to be wary! Cougars are generally thought to no longer be in the eastern US, where we are, but there’s a story or two … I’ll talk about that in the book if I can ever get that out!

          • Wow! !!! Nothing bigger than foxes around here and they will rarely bother a cat, plenty of other, easy food for them

            • Catwoods says:

              I love foxes! We used to have foxes around here too, but we haven’t seen any for years and I think the coyotes crowded them out. Coyotes have become more numerous, and bolder with time. They’ve even moved into urban areas. They are scary smart. Beautiful wild animals, but, sigh. You really have to watch your cats and small dogs if coyotes are around.

  20. DS Levy says:

    Another wonderful post, Leah! I love to look at your photographs, the way that light filters in through the branches, the colors of nature, and of course that adorable UV to help in editing and just being an all-around good kitty! Today I was trying to take some photos of the Michigan colors with my iPhone (my eye was drawn up and down, to the forest floor, as well). I’m always amazed how beautiful it is this time of year – and our color is very slow in changing up here. And this is off the subject of your post (I’m sorry), but I do want to tell you how much your words meant to me about our cat’s (Bobbie Sue’s) passing. I know you’ve recently been down that same road, so I do appreciate your heartfelt words. Wishing you a wonderful — storm free! — autumn down south! 🙂 Deb

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks Deb, I’m happy you enjoyed the post, and I always appreciate your kind comments. There’s something about autumn, I bet it’s beautiful up there! I often enjoy the slow changes as much as I do the blaze of colors at their peak. My heart goes out to you about Bobbie Sue; I never know what to say, words don’t seem adequate at times of great loss, but I wanted you to know you are in my thoughts. Back atcha with wishes for all good things this autumn, and always! ~ Leah

      • DS Levy says:

        Leah, your words were perfect, absolutely perfect. (Or maybe I should write “purrfect” :)). And yes, I very much enjoyed the post — you’re a wonderful photographer as well as writer. How’s the book coming along (don’t mean to bug you, but hope you still have it in your sights … ‘cause I’m ready to read it! LOL). Yes, autumn is the loveliest time of year. I could stare at the trees all day. 🙂

        • Catwoods says:

          I really appreciate all your encouraging words, Deb! The book’s a little bogged down now in the search for the perfect, er, purrfect editor. I know it’s going to happen, I just don’t know when. Since I live in slow motion anyway, I’m not going to worry about it, I’m just taking it all in stride. Oh yeah, those autumn trees – just a few leaves can completely absorb your attention these days …

          • DS Levy says:

            Hey, write/edit the book on your schedule, Leah. I firmly believe that all good things arrive in their own time/place … so too books. Slow motion is a terrific motion (things move way too fast these days). Have a wonderful weekend — let those leaves mesmerize 🙂

  21. Lauren says:

    I love the vibrant photos and storyline, Leah! Beautiful post!

  22. nananoyz says:

    Beautiful! Stained glass looking photos with a touch of Monet.

Comments are closed.